Rob Gifford

Rob Gifford is the NPR foreign correspondent based in Shanghai.

For five years prior to his assignment in Shanghai in 2010, Gifford reported from NPR’s London Bureau. From 1999 to 2005, he was NPR’s Beijing correspondent.

Gifford has reported from around the world for NPR, especially in Asia and Europe. Two days after the terrorist attacks on the United States in September 2001, Gifford flew to Pakistan for the first of many reporting trips to the Muslim world.

Born and raised in the UK, Gifford worked for three years at the BBC World Service, before moving to the US in 1994 to attend graduate school. He also spent two years at NPR member station WGBH in Boston.

His first book, CHINA ROAD: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power was published in 2007 by Random House. CHINA ROAD tells of his 3,000 mile odyssey across China, following the country's equivalent of the US Route 66--called Route 312--all the way from Shanghai to the Kazakh border. The book is based upon a seven-part radio series that Gifford filed for Morning Edition.

Gifford holds a BA in Chinese Studies from Durham University, UK, and an MA in Regional Studies (East Asia) from Harvard University.



Thu June 30, 2011
China: Beyond Borders

China's Rise: Inward Looking Or Expansionist?

It often appears as if modern Chinese power is more aimed at erasing a painful past than at writing a dominant future. But there is one topic where the peace-loving Chinese seem worryingly militaristic: Taiwan.
AFP/Getty Images

This month, NPR is examining the many ways China is expanding its reach in the world — through investment, infrastructure, military power and more.

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Wed June 22, 2011
China: Beyond Borders

China's Businesses Boom, But Its Brands Don't

Commuters stand in front of billboards outside a shopping mall in Beijing. Brand logos are a common sight in China — but not for homegrown companies.
Liu Jin Getty Images

This month, NPR is examining the many ways China is expanding its reach in the world — through investment, infrastructure, military power and more.

After 30 years of mind-bending economic growth, everyone knows about brand China — but very few people can name a Chinese brand. And the reasons for that are not just economic.

In a bustling market near the center of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh, Soray Peah, 24, is testing the ringtones on a cellphone she wants to buy.

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Mon June 6, 2011
China: Beyond Borders

China's Rise: A Quest To 'Hug The World'?

Chinese explorer Zheng He sailed on diplomatic and business missions in the early 1400s, reaching as far as northeast Africa. This sculpture of Zheng He is on display in the Asian Reading Room at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
Maggie Starbard NPR

This month, NPR is examining the many ways China is expanding its reach in the world — through investments, infrastructure, military power and more.

When the United States took over from Britain as the predominant world power 100 years ago, the transition was like one between brothers — or cousins, at least. And the two countries remain close allies to this day. The rise of China in relation to U.S. predominance presents a somewhat different challenge — with decades of sometimes outright hostility and an ongoing fractious relationship.

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Fri June 3, 2011

China To Make Mastering Cyber Warfare A Priority

China has rejected allegations of involvement in a cyber-spying campaign targeting the Google e-mail accounts of top U.S. officials, military personnel and journalists. In an Op Ed in a Party-run newspaper, two strategists from the Chinese military, without mentioning Google's recent claims, wrote that China must make mastering cyber warfare a military priority as the Internet becomes the crucial battleground for opinion and intelligence.


Thu June 2, 2011

Phnom Penh's Feat: Getting Clean Tap Water Flowing

Cambodian villagers get water from a truck at a camp in Preah Vihear province, some 300 miles northwest of Phnom Penh. Though 92 percent of households in Phnom Penh have clean running water, many in rural Cambodia rely on trucks or water purification tablets.
Tang Chhin Sothy AFP/Getty Images

The sound of running water — clean running water — is not one you have always been able to hear in the ramshackle lean-tos that pass for homes on the edge of Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.

Providing clean water is one of the biggest challenges for governments in the developing world. Clean water charities say that thousands of people die every day of preventable diseases as a result of not having clean drinking water, and 90 percent of those who die are under the age of 5.

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